Observations One Through Ten

By Sydney Chandler Sometimes a day of exploring yields a choppy list of things that make us say “Wow!”. For this collection, the prevalence of young explorers have inspired that this be a numbers-based list of observations. At any age, noticing numbers in nature is a fun way to deepen observations! One: A lone path…

Fruits of Summer

By Greg Lecker Heat and humidity have accompanied the ripening of summer.  Grasses and cattail have obscured all old wet meadow growth surrounding Green Heron Pond.  Along the bog boardwalk and especially in the newest plantings adjacent to it;  fast-growing vegetation towers over the paths.  Water is high and covers portions of the “corduroy” logs…

Insects in the Prairie

By Holly Einess I start today’s hike intending to walk around Wood Duck Pond, but a sign tells me the trail is temporarily closed (due to wet conditions, no doubt). So instead I take Wood Duck Trail straight to the prairie, arriving there none too soon, as the mosquitoes near the pond are fierce and…

Summer’s First Treasures

By Mary Beth Pottratz Overcast skies and an occasional mist greet the second day of summer today. Cloudy, damp days are wonderful for exploring the natural habitat areas at the Arb! Gray dogwood The wetlands around Green Heron Pond have come to life in the last few weeks. Willows bear light green leaves. Gray dogwood…

Feeling Small and Feeling Big

By Sydney Chandler To feel small often comes with the connotation that someone feels insignificant. And to feel big carries the opposite connotation. However, the Arboretum forests challenge those connotations by demonstrating that plants of many sizes significantly contribute to the forest ecosystem. Consider the connection to the communities to which we belong. Each member’s…

Expectant

By Greg Lecker The weather is a bit unsettled this morning.  The sky is overcast; and a cold front is moving in.  However, against the windy gray backdrop, birds are actively calling around Green Heron Pond:  cardinals and red-winged blackbirds.  A haze of violet catches my attention. Virginia Waterleaf The plant earns its name from…

Birds, Blossoms, and Bees

By Holly Einess On my last visit to the Arboretum in mid-April, several inches of heavy wet snow covered Green Heron Trail. What a difference today! Instead of a blanket of white, green is everywhere, punctuated by splashes of color. On my way to the Wurtele Boardwalk I pass a gray catbird. Normally secretive, this…

Minnesota’s Heritage In Bloom

By Mary Beth Pottratz The woodland is awash in clumps of white, purple and lavender violets. Swaths of tiny white flowers of fragrant bedstraw carpet the woods. White baneberry White baneberry’s green foliage is topped with cylindrical white flowers. The stamen are longer than the flowers, giving a bottlebrush look. Smooth Solomon’s seal has just…

The Many Names of Arboretum Plants

By Sydney Chandler A name can be a great descriptor, provide historical context, or even convey humor. Some people name a variety of important things: pets, kids, cars, musical instruments, and even plants! At the Arboretum, many plant names stand out and enhance our understanding of that plant. Parrot Tulip The Parrot Tulip has spunk…

Origins

By Greg Lecker The weather is perfect for Mother’s Day.  Under clear blue skies and sun, daffodils, tulips, magnolias and crabapple are blooming.  Along the flowing waterways are blooming clumps of yellow buttercup-like flowers that reflect the color of the sun – marsh marigold. Marsh Marigold There are many possible origins of the name “marigold”. …